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COVID-19: implications for our practice

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Printed: 29/09/2021
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Last updated: 19/11/2020

Working with other professionals

There is always more than one professional working with te tamaiti or their whānau or family at the same time. By working together and sharing information, we will achieve a better outcome for te tamaiti.

Upcoming changes for this guidance

This content will be strengthened so it more completely reflects our commitment to practice framed by te Tiriti o Waitangi, based on a mana-enhancing paradigm for practice, and drawing from ​Te Ao Māori principles of oranga to support mana tamaiti, whakapapa and whanaungatanga. We each need to consider how we can apply these principles to our practice when reading this guidance. The following resources provide support:
Practice for working effectively with Māori
Our practice shift

Update to this guidance

A section has been added about understanding each other's roles and expectations.
Understanding roles and expectations

Benefits of working with other professionals

Other professionals can give us a new insight into the whānau or family situation. Sharing information gives us a bigger picture of what is happening for te tamaiti and their whānau or family, and helps us determine how we can help.

Services and supports from a range of agencies can help address the multi-faceted needs of tamariki and their whānau or family.

However, there are issues we need to be aware of:

  • When we work together, we need to find a way to keep te tamaiti and their whānau or family at the centre, even though the other professionals may have a different primary focus, different organisational procedures or a different legal jurisdiction.
  • We should look widely for information – we might have strong relationships with some professionals, but we should also seek information from other people we don't know so well.
  • We need to treat all information with care and respect.

Sharing information about tamariki and rangatahi

Who we might be working with

Professionals are people employed by an organisation to undertake a task. We might also work with volunteers. Professionals and volunteers are accountable to the rules, roles and responsibilities of their organisation.

We may work with professionals from the following areas:

  • health
  • legal
  • education
  • community
  • sports and recreation.

Engaging one-on-one

To help develop a quality relationship with another professional, we could:

  • phone them instead of emailing
  • see them in person
  • invite them to visit whānau or family with us
  • share resources and tools, like the most recent Tuituia report
  • invite them to site forums and internal training
  • encourage them to visit the Practice Centre and
  • invite them to help us complete a child or young person and family consult or to sit alongside us as we complete our assessment.

Sharing information about tamariki and rangatahi

Meeting as a group

We have a key leadership role in bringing everyone together on a regular basis to share their knowledge, insights and ideas.

Meeting as a group allows everyone to hear information first-hand and to add their own thoughts for everyone to hear.

Understanding roles and expectations

To develop a quality relationship, all the professionals involved need a clear understanding of each other’s role in relation to te tamaiti or rangatahi.  

We should clearly explain our role when we first meet with another professional and, if appropriate, state what we need from them at each interaction – this could be a referral, informal advice, a written report or something else 

We should also ask them to help us understand their role in relation to te tamaiti or rangatahi and anything they might need from us.